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Heads of Social Media Corporations Testify to Congress; Bad Actors Online; France Bans Electronic Devices in Primary and Elementary Schools; Extreme Sailing Series
Aired September 6, 2018 - 04:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome to a new day and a new broadcast. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10. You probably used Google, Facebook and/or Twitter in
the last 24 hours. These companies executives were recently asked to testify before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee. This part of
Congress has the job of overseeing the government`s intelligence work and programs and one thing it`s investigating is how people or organizations in
other countries are using social media to influence U.S. politics. The American Intelligence community has repeatedly accused Russia of trying to
influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
Russia has repeatedly denied doing it. And last year CNN investigated how people in the small European country of Macedonia used websites to spread
fake news, unproven or just made up stories and make a relative fortune from the advertising. Yesterday`s hearing on Capital Hill was the third
time in 12 months that someone from a major technology company appeared before the Senate Committee. Not everyone who was invited showed up.
Facebook sent it`s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. Twitter`s Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey appeared but Google refused to send a
high profile executive.
It offered it`s Senior Vice-President of Global Affairs but Senators said that wasn`t senior enough so Google`s place only had an empty chair.
Still, the hearing went on. Sandberg and Dorsey discussed what their companies have done to prevent false information from being spread on
Facebook and Twitter to make it clearer where their political ads come from and to say their companies are working more closely together to share
information on foreign threats. But they both also regretted that their platforms have been used inappropriately in the past and that they hadn`t
been prepared, at least at first, to deal with it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remember when Mark Zuckerberg said this, "the idea that in a fake news on Facebook of - - of - - of which, you know, it`s a - -
it`s a very small amount of - - of - - of the content influenced the election in any way I think is a pretty crazy idea." As we all know now,
that idea wasn`t actually that crazy. The U.S. government says Russian backed disinformation campaigns exploded social platforms like Facebook to
target Americans and divide the country and the company has taken heat this year for not doing enough to stop it.
MARK ZUCKERBERG: The most important thing that I care about right now is making sure that no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But now, with November rapidly approaching, all eyes are on the 2018 mid-terms and Facebook says it`s deploying resources they
didn`t have two years ago to make sure meddling doesn`t happen again.
(NATHANIAL GLACIER): I`m our Head of Cyber Security Policy and so I help drive our effort to counter information operations and election
interference around the globe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nathanial Glacier (ph) used to be a Federal prosecutor for the Department of Justice. Now he`s working for Facebook where he`s
essentially their top troll hunter. What is it that`s keeping you up at night right now as we - - as we come into the final stretch of the
(NATHANIAL GLACIER): The thing that I`m most focused on is how do we stay a step ahead of the threat actors because we know that they are continue to
inabate. We have manual investigators that are running, sort of, focused investigations and we think of these sort of like finding a needle in a
haystack. And then second, we complement that with automated at scale work to detect and remove the less sophisticated threat actors. And if the
manual work is like looking for needles in a haystack, then the other work is like shrinking the haystack.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His team has already had some success. In July, Facebook thwarted a network of suspected Russian linked accounts involved
in organizing political events in the United States. What was about that campaign that was different to what had been done previously?
(NATHANIAL GLACIER): They definitely were more secure and more concerned about protecting their identity and more disciplined about it. They
consistently used VPN`s. They didn`t link themselves to obvious geographic indicators like cell phones link for the particular country. They were
taking disciplined steps to make themselves harder to be identified.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you found evidence of actors in the U.S. working on their behalf?
(NATHANIAL GLACIER): If we can drive them to need to send people to the United States to work on their behalf, I actually think that`s a win.
Because what we`ve done is we`ve forced them to invest more, to expose their actors. Our goal in this is to make this harder and to make this
more expensive. We haven`t seen clear indications of that but as we make this harder, as we limit their ability to operate from a distance. These
actors are going to have to make a decision. How much are they willing to commit? And the more they commit, the more they put their necks out and
that`s part of the goal here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it the role of the Facebook user also to keep an eye out for a sort of suspicious activity and what should they look out for?
(NATHANIAL GLACIER): Social media and the internet is a fairly new environment. Which means as people go on this environment, many of our
fundamental techniques don`t work and what we`re seeing is threat actors exploit that. And so one of the things that we try to do that`s really
important, as we identify this behavior, we want to make if visible and make it so that people in the public can understand what`s happening. So
that they can do their own policing, they can make their own decisions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For now (Nathanial) and his team are focused on finding those bad actors. As America heads to the polls, questions remain about
how voters are influenced by foreign governments online and whether platforms like Facebook are doing enough to protect our elections.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARL AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. On March 10th, 1876, who famously said Mr. Watson come here I want to see you? Samuel F.B. Morse, Sherlock Holmes,
Henry Morton Stanley, or Alexander Graham Bell? These words were spoken in the first telephone call that took place between Alexander Graham Bell and
Thomas A. Watson.
A French government official says elementary and middle school students don`t play at break times anymore. They just stare at their smart phones
and from an educational point of view that`s a problem. Critics say a new law that bans phones, smart watches and tablets goes too far at a time when
technology is so integrated into daily life. Regardless of what people think is the right call, French students won`t be making any calls this
year on campus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: As the new school year starts in France this week, some students may find themselves having withdraw or as the Education
Minister calls it, a digital detox.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, THROUGH TRANSLATOR: Our primary role is to protect children and teenagers. It`s a fundamental role for education and so this
law permits that.
KINKADE: Passed in late July, a nationwide ban on cell phones is now in effect at primary and middle schools across the country. Mobile devices
can no longer be used at any point during the school day. It`s meant to combat bullying and end classroom distraction. A constructive mandate some
say that may be difficult to enforce.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s a good thing. It`s a good law. That it will be very difficult, very hard because it`s a new way of life using
mobiles all the time.
KINKADE: It`s a campaign promise of President Emmanuel Macron who visited students on their first day of school. The latest move in a country that
has lead the way in digital health. Last year France introduced a Right to Disconnect Law banning businesses from requiring employees to respond to
emails after work hours.
PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON, THROUGH TRANSLATOR: This is an opportunity for us to send a message to elementary schools, middle schools and to some
degree French society on how to develop a relationship with digital media.
LYNDA KINKADE: More than 90 percent of French children over 12 have mobile phones. That`s according to a 2016 report by French Telecom`s regulator
ARCEP. A significant jump compared to a decade ago. And the length of time spent on mobile phones is only increased over time in the U.S. and
Europe. A 2015 report found teens in the U.S. spend an average of 9 hours a day. But whether the technology is in fact addictive has been up for
debate and some argue that prohibiting technology all together during the school day is excessive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s pretty stupid. Because, I mean, it`s not going to be very useful. I think kids are still going to use their
phone anyway even if it`s banned.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are not going to listen and maybe they are going to hide it in their pockets and play in the toilet and cheat.
KINKADE: One study by the London School of Economics showed that students at English schools were cell phone use is banned are higher performers.
France is about to find out if that rings true to it`s students. Lynda Kinkade, CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARL AZUZ: There`s boating. There`s sailing and then there`s extreme sailing and that`s what we`re highlighting today on 10 out of 10. Founded
in 2007, the Extreme Sailing Series is known as the Formula (inaudible) of the Seas. Each catamaran has a crew of five traveling at speeds up to 39
knots, that`s like 45 miles per hour. Olympians, World Sailing Champions and America`s Cup competitors all take part and sometimes fans are allowed
on board. Assuming they`re willing to go to extremes to take the "tack" of adventure and see what Extreme Sailing is all "aboat". We`re not sure how
"stern" the rules are or where the lines are drawn but it`s obviously a great time "keeler" that everyone who participates finds "heeling". I`m
Carl Azuz and I got this "sinking" feeling that we`re at the end of another show.